A HAPPIER ENDING
Lord, Your willingness to bear with Your people knows no bounds.
Read AMOS 9:11–15
11 “In that day
“I will restore David’s fallen shelter—
I will repair its broken walls
and restore its ruins—
and will rebuild it as it used to be,
12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations that bear my name,”
declares the Lord, who will do these things.
13 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
and flow from all the hills,
14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.
“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Father, thank You that despite the ghastly history of Your church at times, You haven’t given up on us!
The transition from verse 10 to verse 11 is an abrupt shift from destruction to restoration. After all the doom and gloom of what we have heard from Amos, how can we understand this change? The mention of “David’s fallen shelter” (11, implying Jerusalem) hints that Amos’s words to the northern kingdom of Israel were relevant also to his own southern nation of Judah, which suffered a similar fate for similar reasons some 135 years after the fall of Israel. Therefore, many commentators believe that these last two oracles were written much later. Others look ahead to a time beyond the judgment. The most compelling thought for me, though, is that Amos has not lost sight of the covenant relationship between the Lord and Israel/Judah. God’s commitment to his people has to lead to the grace of restoration. If judgment is the last word, then transgression has won: God has been unable to attain his goal of salvation for the world and therefore cannot be Lord of heaven and earth. The truth is that he is sovereign and will indeed bring all his good purposes for humanity and his world to fulfillment. The book ends with the words “the Lord your God” (15)—underlining that personal, loving covenantal relationship.
God can never overlook human sin—but human sin is never the last word. We Christians know that the new David, the Messiah, God’s anointed King, has come as the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. Jesus is the one through whom God will bring blessing and abundant life on all the families of the earth. We know what it cost him to do so. We need to heed the warnings of this book as they apply to us; but we should also never lose sight of the hope of redemption and restoration for those who own him as their Lord and Savior.
Father, I stand before You humbled and deeply grateful for Your loving perseverance with me, a sinner.
Lord, thank You for planting us in Your kingdom. Cause us to be like trees embedded beside the river of water.